Considering a Career Change? Be a Non-Profit CEO!

There is a wide variety of career options within the non-profit sector.

Note: this blog contains an excellent online training opportunity with link toward the end!

Considering your career options! As many of my blog readers know, my consulting practice has two arms – diversity and career development. In terms of career development, I have written about the importance of each individual owning their career, and asking themselves those penetrating questions to explore what they really want to be doing. It is so critical that long term career aligns with one’s passions.

Back in 2011, I published a 3-part blog series about managing careers:

Part 1 (link) introduced the concept and career mapping – including look where you have been and key skills you have developed during the journey.

Part 2 (link) provided several tools for career management, including a simple spreadsheet to evaluate a job’s fit with your career desires and goals.

Part 3 (link) emphasized really understanding yourself and taking ownership of your career journey.

Aligning career and passions – a short case study. So looking back and parts 2 and 3, one of the passions that people may have is helping make the world a better place. For many people, perhaps for you, making a positive impact on the world through your profession may be more important than work location, recognition, and even pay! I once had a mentee who was very unhappy in his high paying IT job at a major company, and later found deep fulfillment as a social worker making half the salary. (This is not to say that all public sector jobs come with a pay cut … but do understand if personal fulfillment or high pay is higher personal priority.)

If making a positive impact on the world is one of your highest career priorities, perhaps a non-profit sector job is for you. They can come in a wide variety of options – advocating for under-served and oppressed minorities, protecting the environment, helping develop our children, working within the arts arena, working within health care and personal well-being …. The options are endless.

Sean Kosofsky, Mind the Gap Consulting, LLC

Enter Sean Kosofsky, non-profit sector professional extraordinaire! One of my business partners who I have known personally for many years, Sean Kosofsky is a true dynamic leader in the non-profit area. His previous job was as Executive Director of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, an organization created by the Clementi family which seeks to prevent bullying through inclusion, assertion of dignity and acceptance as a way to honor the memory of Tyler Clementi: a son, a brother and a friend. A few years ago, I interviewed Sean in this role for a blog about him and the foundation (link.)

Now Sean is a “Nonprofit Fixer.” He’s worked in nonprofits for 25 years and served as executive director for four organizations. He is a coach and consultant for boards, executive directors and activists of all stripes. His experience includes communications, victim-services, civil rights, environment, policy, bullying prevention, lobbying, management and much more.

Sean is passionate about building successful nonprofits. He especially wants to build strong boards and strong nonprofit CEOs. Sean learned how to run non-profits the hard way – by watching it be done wrong. Sean told me, “Being an Executive Director is incredibly rewarding but it is filled with unique challenges. It’s easy to be thrown into the deep end and told to sink or swim. Your bosses are volunteers who don’t even work at the nonprofit.

The training opportunity! So Sean is offering this online Executive Director Boot Camp course to fill a real gap in our sector…proper preparation for anyone interested in running a nonprofit. No fluff. No theory. No ice breakers. We get down to business with concrete tools and solid wisdom needed to succeed. Most executive directors would have killed to have this info before they started.”

You can learn more about the course and sign up at https://mtg3.teachable.com/?affcode=206049_qcqnq5vh

The Tyler Clementi Foundation’s Innovative New Anti-Bullying Campaign

Blog author Stan Kimer (in the center) with Tyler Clementi Foundation Executive Director Sean Kosofsky and Tyler's mother and foundation co-founder Jane Clementi

Blog author Stan Kimer (in the center) with Tyler Clementi Foundation Executive Director Sean Kosofsky and Tyler’s mother and foundation co-founder Jane Clementi

For this year’s annual October Bullying Awareness Month blog, I would like to introduce a new program being offered by the Tyler Clementi Foundation and rolled out through corporations and organizations. Why is this exciting and innovative? Because most Americans spend the vast majority of their waking hours on the job, so that is the logical place to roll out resources to assist in various aspects of life.

Here are four shorts questions and answers.

QUESTION 1: Who exactly is Tyler Clementi and why is there a foundation named after him?

ANSWER: Tyler Clementi (link to more of his story) was a talented teenager in his first year of college coming to terms with being gay. Without his knowledge, Tyler’s roommate secretly livestreamed him in an intimate act with another young man, and then shared the stream with Tyler’s university peers as well as the roommate’s high school friends and Twitter followers. This act of cyber-bullying was a great embarrassment to Tyler and two days later Tyler died by suicide. After processing the grief of losing their son in this way, Tyler’s parents decided to take proactive action and started the foundation to address cyber-bullying in the hopes that it can be stopped and future harm and even deaths could be avoided.

QUESTION 2: What is my own connection with the Tyler Clementi Foundation?

ANSWER: Last year, a friend of mine from Raleigh, NC, Sean Kosofsky, who is one of the brightest non-profit leaders in the country, was offered the job of being the Tyler Clementi Foundation’s first full time executive director. He returned to Raleigh in early September and helped host a reception with Tyler’s mother Jane Clementi. (See photo at top of blog.) Sean updated us on the latest programs of the foundation and Jane spoke passionately as a mother hoping to bring positive change to America’s cyber-community as a constructive way of dealing with her son’s death. Total Engagement Consulting is proud to have provided a corporate donation to the foundation’s work.

Tyler Clementi, the young man for whom the foundation is named

Tyler Clementi, the young man for whom the foundation is named

QUESTION 3: What exactly is this new program that the foundation will be rolling out via corporations?

ANSWER: Too much of the burden of ending bullying is put on schools. The Tyler Clementi Foundation thinks parents play a key role, and thus has partnered with Workplace Options (WPO) to offer trainings on youth bullying to parents where they are during the day: at work. This training helps educate people about whether the young people in their lives are being bullied or are bullies, and not sharing this information. The focus will be to teach individuals how to identify, approach, discuss and resolve youth bullying issues with their children, and young people in their personal lives. More information can be found on the foundation’s program page. (Scroll about halfway down the page to the heading “Workplace Options / TCF Training

QUESTION 4: Can I provide some links to additional blogs with resources I have previously published?

ANSWER: Certainly!

In last year’s Bullying Awareness Month’s blog, I introduced the Tyler Clementi Foundation.

In my 2013 blog, I wrote about the link between schoolyard bullying and workplace harassment.

In “The Macroeconomic of Gay Bullying” I write about the grave harm to a nation’s well being and economics unaddressed bullying can result in.